Tuesday Jun 05 2012
Another View Online: Measure D deserves a yes vote
By: Jim Holmes, member, Placer County Board of Supervisors, District 3
Another View Online
In the mid 1980s two local fire districts, Rock Creek and Ophir, saw the need to consolidate their fire districts in order to provide a more cost-efficient level of service to their residents. This led to the formation of the Placer Consolidated Fire Protection District which became the second largest fire protection district in Placer County. I served on that board for 16 years. In 1990 that board asked the voters in the district for an increase in revenues to replace two 1950s fire trucks and for some additional equipment. The voters were asked to assess themselves $48 annually for residences and $300 for commercial buildings. The request was successful and those two fire trucks are still in service today. However the ongoing issue of addressing the rising costs of insurance, fuel, labor, and utilities over the years while receiving revenues that are set by law is a constant challenge for all fire districts. In order to meet this constant challenge the fire district board began discussions with Placer County about the possibility of becoming a part of Placer County Fire. During those discussions the fire board began cutting costs and leaving unfilled positions vacant in order for the fire district to join Placer County Fire on a revenue neutral basis. In 2006 those successful discussions lead to the inclusion of the Placer Consolidate Fire Protection District into the Placer County Fire system. So the history shows that over the past 25- plus years those that are responsible for providing fire and public safety services have been proactive in finding ways to provide cost efficient service to the residents of North Auburn and Ophir. Today, with the downturn in the economy and the decrease in property tax assessments North Auburn/Ophir Fire must return to the voters with Measure D to ask the voters for an increase in revenues to continue providing the current level of service. Without an increase in revenues North Auburn/Ophir Fire will be forced to cut services which will increase response times to the busiest fire service and public safety area in unincorporated Placer County. As a lifelong resident of North Auburn, I respectfully ask you to join me in voting Yes on Measure D.